Vetebröd (Swedish Sweet Bread)

TYPE : Swedish
Sweet Bread
YIELD : 24 servings
CALORIES : 224 kcal
PREP TIME : 20 mins
COOK TIME : 20 mins
TOTAL TIME : 3 hrs 40 mins

INGREDIENTS :

  • 6-7 cups (15-17 dl) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp instant yeast, or 25 g fresh yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground cardamom (optional, but delicious)
  • 3/4 cup (2 dl) sugar
  • 2 cups (5 dl) milk
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 1 stick (100 g) butter
  • 1 egg, for egg wash
  • 1/2 cup (1 dl) pearl sugar (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS :

Preparing the dough – Traditional method

  • In a saucepan, melt the butter then add milk and heat until lukewarm. If you use fresh yeast, dissolve it in the liquid. Add the egg, if used. Mix with the dry ingredients, reserving 1 cup (2.5 dl) of flour for kneading.

Preparing the dough – Extra fluffy bread with tangzhong

  • In a saucepan, whisk 4 tbsp of flour into the milk and heat carefully while whisking until thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and egg. If you use fresh yeast, save some milk to dissolve it in. Mix with the dry ingredients, reserving 1 cup (2.5 dl) of flour for kneading.

Preparing the dough – More flavor with starter sponge

  • Mix half the flour, 1 tsp yeast and 1 tbsp sugar with all of the milk. Mix/knead for a few minutes. Cover and leave to rise until really bubbly (about 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator). Mix with the remaining ingredients, adding the butter last.

All methods

  • Knead for at least 10 minutes. Add flour as needed. The dough should feel tacky but not stick to your hands when touched.
  • Place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic and leave to rise until double the size (about 2 hours).
  • Shape into loaves or buns and cover them with plastic. Prove until double the size and a soft poke barely bounces back (1-2 hours).
  • Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with pearl sugar (optional). Bake loaves at 350°F (175°C) for 20-30 minutes and buns/rolls at 400°F (200°C) for 10-15 minutes.

NOTES :

Traditionally, vetebröd is often braided and it looks especially nice with sprinkled pearl sugar on top. Tutorial on how to braid can be found here.

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